Brent Harris: Surrender & Catch seeks to map the ways in which Harris’s art has developed over the past four decades. It presents an overview of Harris’s career, and through a number of in-depth essays explores critical aspects of Harris’s complex and layered work. The contributors employ a range of interpretive modes and formats to apprehend Harris’s art: from analysis of one work, methodology or theme, to interview. These approaches provide new insights into Harris’s practice and contribute to the growing literature on the artist.
The essays include Maria Zagala’s overview of Harris’s development; Anthony Fitzpatrick’s in-depth reading of a key work – I Weep My Mother’s Breasts from 1996; Cathy Leahy’s interview with Harris’s long-term printer John Loane of Viridian Press; Dr Helen Hughes’s exploration of the motivating impulse behind Harris’s citation of artistic sources; and Dr Laurence Simmons psychoanalytic reading of Harris’s iconography, in particular the rich theme of the monstrous. The book reprints two important essays – one by James Mollison on Harris’s early series
Bubbles, Just a Feeling and Sleep, 2004, and the other by the artist on the personal significance of Colin McCahon’s painting The Family, 1947. An illustrated chronology by Tim Riley Walsh offers a detailed timeline of the artist’s life. These essays will provide a rich context through which to view the comprehensive illustrations, featured in the book.